Nottingham Arts Mela 2019

Tuesday 3 - Sunday 8 September

This year we celebrate 31 years of Mela in the UK. Our theme is Illusions in Transit – exploring the journeys of people, art and society, and offering an exciting programme which captures the creative and cultural spirit of the city of Nottingham and the Midlands region.

With a strong South Asian root, we strive towards an inclusive and vibrant society. The programme this year includes live performance, exhibitions, poetry, and a series of special community engagement commissions. The festival will be held at New Art Exchange, Arboretum Park and venues across Hockley.

Thursday 1 August - 31 December

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Nirvair Singh Rai & Janhavi Sharma: Memory Of Land

NAE Forecourt

Photographer and filmmaker Nirvair Singh Rai and visual artist Janhavi Sharma have embarked on a research project across the Punjab region of India and the holy city of Amritsar to create a new body of work. The installation, combining photography and digitally manipulated painting, seeks to remember the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre of 1919 which saw British Indian Army troops fire upon unarmed Indian civilians who were assembled for a peaceful protest and to honour the Sikh festival of Baisakhi.

Through visiting the site, and interviewing local communities, Rai and Sharma seek to understand the psychology of surviving grief through the memory of land; land being the only witness left 100 years on from this deplorable act.

Special Thanks:
Arts Council England Lottery Funds, Nottingham Arts Mela, Nottingham Unesco City of Literature. Additional and special thanks to donors - Harbhajan Hundal, Cherry Nijjar, Sonya Kaur, Shiv K Vaid, Jagbir Singh and Parmjit Singh Hundal and Sam Sangha for their generous private donations.

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Tuesday 3 September: Artists Short Films + Q&A with English subtitles

We'll be showing two short films, Children Playing God and Dada and The Punjabi Princess. The screening will be followed by a discussion between directors Ashok Vish, Chila Kumari Burman and Skinder Hundal.

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Wednesday 4 September: Zoe Rahman Trio Feat Idris Rahman

Zoe Rahman is back at Peggy's as part of Nottingham Arts Mela, and this year features her brother Idris Rahman of the Soothsayers (Afrobeat/Dub ensemble).

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Thursday 5 September: Dastaan Dance with Sarvar Sabri

Sonia Sabri Company brings a truly original performance of dance, live music and projected film. A meeting of interlinked cultures of familiar and unfamiliar lands, celebrating the unique diversity of Britain.

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Thursday 5 September: SHIN (DCS)

Enjoy a live music performance of international standard with UK Bhangra legend. An intimate set in one of Hockley's most popular venues.

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Friday 6 September: Mela Double Bill Launch, New Art Exchange

New Art Exchange will be hosting a panel discussion exploring process and contexts of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar 100 years on in relation to the Memory Of Land Exhibition. Plus a live DJ set in the NAE CaféBar.


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Saturday 7 September: New Art Exchange

New Art Exchange start the day with yoga accompanied by live tabla and Indian classical recital ft. Anupama Bhagwat. Later, the space is filled with global sounds presented by World Music Consortium, a plentiful array of family activities, workshops, henna and face-painting.

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Saturday 7 September: Midnight Somersault

Enjoy South Asian sounds with tabla beats and electronica, creating futurisms in Hockley's leading pizza parlour.

Sunday 8 September: Arboretum

The sizzling scent of jalebis, samosa and chaat fills this beautiful botanical garden on Sunday. With craft and fashion stalls, live performances, poetry, arts workshops, as well as yoga in our well-being tent, vibrant dance and music will entertain and delight all afternoon.


New Art Exchange
39-41 Gregory Boulevard
NG7 6BE, Uk


0115 924 8630


Opening Times

Mon -  Fri: 09:00 – 18:00

Sat: 10:00 – 17:00

Sun: 10:00 – 16:00

Closed Bank Holidays

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We would like to acknowledge the financial support new art exchange has received from our funders and partners.

Supported by

Logos for; Arts Council England, Nottingham City Council

Capital funders

Logos for; Nottingham City Council, East Midlands Development Agency, Neighbourhood Development Company, European Regional Development Fund, Greater Nottingham Partnership, Arts Council England